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News U28

A rare genetic bone pathology is identified from massive sequencing methods

The Andalusian Center for Nanomedicine and Biotechnology (BIONAND) and the Center for Biomedical Research Network in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), both partners of NANBIOSIS, in collaboration with the International Registry of Skeletal Dysplasias of the University of California (Los Angeles) and Masaryk University, of the Czech Republic have described a new genetic disease of the skeleton using a precision medicine strategy.

This disease consists of extreme bone fragility with lack of mineralization and skeletal deformation associated with joint dislocation and heart disease, as well as a lung deficiency that causes perinatal lethality -at the time of birth-. Using massive sequencing methods – of all genes – researchers have identified the mutations that caused a type of rare bone pathology, specifically, those of the ‘LAMA5’ gene, responsible for encoding a cellular matrix protein that surrounds blood vessels in skeletal tissues.

Our scientific team has spent years investigating rare genetic syndromes that affect the skeleton in order to provide a medical solution to patients with difficult diagnosis and treatment,” explains the researcher from the Department of Cell Biology, Iván Durán, lead author of this study, whose results have been published in the scientific journal ‘EBIOMEDICiNE’.

According to the expert, precision medicine is the key to discovering what genetic and molecular factors cause this type of pathology and, therefore, understanding the mechanism that causes them and being able to develop personalized therapies.

Thus, researchers have also described the disease mechanism by generating cellular models by gene editing, mimicking the mutations in ‘LAMA5’, with the aim of confirming whether these are the origin and knowing the molecular process that triggers the problem. These cellular models have been generated by genetic editing with CRISPR, introducing mutations that cause a null or hypomorphic gene.

“Thanks to these models, we discovered a new signaling pathway that governs the formation of the skeleton – so that the bone grows and remains healthy – which means that our work has not only led to the discovery of a new disease, but to a mechanism unprecedented that can be exploited for common bone disorders ” –explains Durán, “the presence of ‘LAMA5’ between cells that direct skeletal formation indicates, therefore, that the appearance of signals from special blood vessels can be a very effective weapon for bone repair and regeneration. Blood vessels not only provide irrigation to the bone, but also carry signals and house niches of stem cells that can be mobilized to induce a regenerative process. ‘LAMA5’ seems to be a key component for harboring pericyte-type stem cells”.

Article of reference:

Barad M, Csukasi F, Kunova-Bosakova M, Martin J, Zhang W, Taylor SP, Dix P, Lachman R, Zieba J, Bamshad M, Nickerson D, Chong JX, Cohn DH, Krejci P, Krakow D, Duran I. Mutations in LAMA5 disrupts a skeletal noncanonical focal adhesion pathway and produces a distinct bent bone dysplasia. 2020 EBioMedicine. Nov 23;62:103075. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.103075

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Scientists of Bionand, University of Malaga and CIBER identify a new drug that could mitigate the consequences of COVID infection.

Researchers from Bionand, partner of NANBIOSIS and ​​the University of Malaga toguether with Red de Terapia Celular, CIBER-BBN and CIBER-NED have taken another step in the search for new rapidly implantable therapies to stop the pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease, identifying a new drug that could prevent or mitigate the consequences of the SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The team, led by UMA researchers Iván Durán and Fabiana Csukasi, will study over the next year how treatment with 4-Phenylbutyrate (4-PBA) modulates the inflammatory response that occurs in the most severe cases of COVID-19.

The first results have already been published in the scientific journal ‘Cytokine and Growth Factors Review’

The inflammatory process that is identified in the most serious cases of coronavirus causes uncontrolled and excess cytokines – molecules responsible for organizing the body’s defenses – even triggering vascular hyperpermeability and multi-organ failure. Precisely, the control of this “storm” of cytokines, through those who control them, that is, the infected cells, is the proposal of the researchers from the University of Malaga.

“When cells are stressed by the infection they call up the cytokines and, the more stressed they are, the more insistently they call them, causing that uncontrolled inflammation. For this reason, one possibility to treat COVID-19 is to reduce the stress on the cells, “explained Durán.

According to the researcher, repositioning with the anti-stress drug ‘4-PBA’, approved for clinical use against other diseases and, therefore, easy to take to the clinic, could modulate this cellular stress, which is also present in pathologies such as diabetes, aging or carcinogenesis, in turn, classified as risk for Covid-19.

For further information click here

Other members of the Bioengineering and Tissue Regeneration Laboratory (Labret), led by Professor José Becerra, and of which the researchers Manuel Mari-Beffa, Gustavo Rico, José Miguel Tejeiro, Rick Visser and David Baglietto are also part of the team of researchers in this project granted by de Andalucía Government with 90.000€.

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Stem cells and COVID-19 research.

The Malaga Academy of Sciences has published an interesting review by Dr. José Becerra Ratia on Spanish biomedical research in relation to COVID-19 virus and, in particular, with two therapeutic novelties that have stem cells as protagonists, in one case the mesenchymal cells and in the other case the embryonic ones.

Professor Becerra is Professor of Cellular Biology at the University of Malaga and Vice President of the Malaga Academy of Sciences, as well as Researcher in charge of the Bioengineering and Tissue Regeneration Laboratory that belongs to BIONAND, IBIMA CIBER-BBN and TerCel (unit 28 of NANBIOSIS U28 Nanoimaging Unit)

Dr Becerra, enfasizes how the development of Biology in recent decades as well as the powerful tools provided by molecular biology and artificial intelligence, will be very useful now to combat Covid-19 Pandemia.

Here you can read the article in Spanish, Science, a well-founded hope against COVID19

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Challenges in precision medicine

Transfiere, the European Forum for Science, Technology and Innovation,  the bigest professional and multisectoral forum for the transfer of knowledge and technology held in Spain, took place last February 12 and 13 in Malaga in its 9th edition.

Among the events held at Transfiere, there has been a round table organized by all health-related platforms under the title: Challenges in precision medicine on the 12th at 6pm.

Maria Luisa García Martín, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U28 of Nanoimaging Unit and head of Nano-Imagen  facilities at BIONAND, was invited by the Nanomedicine platform, NanomedSpain as a speaker at the aforementioned round table to discuss metabolomics and cancer. The rest of the participants were:

• Amelia Martín Uranga. Responsible for the Innovative Medicines Platform (Pharmaindustry) – Data protection in precision medicine.

• Beatriz Palomo. Coordinator of Biotechnology Markets Platform Responsible for projects and the ASEBIO Health Area

• Patricia Fernández. Coordinator of the Vet + i-Spanish Technology Platform for Animal Health Foundation

• Antonio Riobás. Medical Director and Health Advisor at Biocrew – Aspects of meso and micro-management in relation to the incorporation of Precision Medicine. Spain and its challenges.

Among subjects discussed, ethical aspects, data protection, limitations and challenges to overcome, the role of patients and clinicians, as well as the role of new technologies, such as metabolomics, in precision medicine, Maria Luisa García shared her experience about  the role of magnetic resonance metabolomics in the precision medicine of the futue, focused on tumor diagnosis.

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NANBIOSIS Scientific Women in the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Today February 11 is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day to raise awareness of the gender gap in science and technology.

According to the United Nations, while yet women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science, science and gender equality are vital to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Thus, in recent years, the international community has made a great effort to inspire and promote the participation of women and girls in science.

NANBIOSIS wants to acknowledge  the efforts made by scientific women who struggle every day to contribute their bit to Science and highlight their essential role in nowadays research. Especially we want to recognize the work of scientists women involved in our units, whatever is the nature of their contribution: technical, scientific development, management, coordination, direction, etc; just to mention some examples:
Neus Ferrer in the Scientific Direction of Unit 1 Protein Production Platform (PPP)
Pilar Marco and Nuria Pascual in the Management and Scientific Coordination of U2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS) 
Miriam Royo in the Scientific Direction of U3 Synthesis of Peptides Unit
Laura Lechuga and M.Carmen Estevez in the Direction and Scientific Coordination of U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit
Nora Ventosa and Nathaly Segovia in the Scientific Direction and Technical Coordination of U6 Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit
Isabel Oliveira and Teresa Galán in the Coordination of U7 Nanotecnology Unit
Rosa Villa and Gemma Gabriel in the Management and Scientific Coordination of U8 Micro – Nano Technology Unit
Gema Martínez in the Scientific Coordination of U9 Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit
Fany Peña in the Scientific Coordination of U13 Tissue & Scaffold Characterization Unit
Mª Luisa González Martín in the of Direction and Scientific Coordination of U16 Tissue & Scaffold Characterization Unit
Gemma Pascual and Isabel Trabado in the Coordination of the U17 Confocal Microscopy Service
Mª Virtudes Céspedes in the Scientific Coordination of U18 Nanotoxicology Unit
Beatriz Moreno in the Scientific Direction of Unit 19 Clinical tests lab
Ibane Abásolo in the Scientific Coordination of Unit 20 In Vivo Experimental Platformt
Verónica Crisóstomo in the Scientific Direction of Unit 24 Medical Imaging 
Ana Paula Candiota in the Scientific Coordination of Unit 25 Biomedical Applications I 
Maria Luisa García in the Scientific Direction of U28 NanoImaging Unit from Bionand, recently incorporated to NANBIOSIS

Thanks to all of you and your teams!

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Bionand, recently incorporated to NANBIOSIS ICTS, among the three national biotechnology reference centers.

The Diario Sur of  Andalucía, publishes today  an article dedicated to BIONAND and its recent accreditation as ICTS by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, that resolved on November 6 the incorporation of the Nanoimaging Unit of BIONAND to the ICTS NANBIOSIS.

In the article, the Director of BIONAND, Jose Becerra Ratia, Professor of Cell Biology of the University of Malaga, explains the opportunities and commitments that imply for the Andalusian Center for Nanomedicine and Biotechnology (BIONAND) its incorporation to NANBIOSIS.

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BIONAND incorporated to the Spanish ICTS Map as a new node of NANBIOSIS

The Scientific, Technological and Innovation Policy Council (CPCTI) of the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities has recently approved the updating of the National ICTS Map (Unique Scientific Technological Infrastructures). ICTS are large installations, resources, facilities and services, unique in its kind, that are dedicated to cutting edge and high-quality research and technological development, as well as to promote exchange, transmission and preservation of knowledge, technology transfer and innovation.

After the evaluation by the CPCTI of the ICTS activity during the last four years, NANBIOSIS maintains its presence in the new National ICTS Map, but it introduces a novelty compared to the prior one. NANBIOSIS, initially formed by CIBER-BBN and CCMIJU, incorporates BIONAND as new node, which has been included in the Strategic Master Plan for the next four years.

NANBIOSIS is the ICTS that provide a complete integrated cutting-edge biomedical advance solutions for companies and research institutions under a single contact point through the design and production of biomaterials, nanomaterials and their nanoconjugates, its characterization from a physic-chemical, functional, toxicological and biological (preclinical validation) point of view, focused on biomedical applications such as: IVDs, medical devices, biosensors, regenerative medicine, drug delivery systems, therapeutic agents or MRI contrast agents.

The incorporation of BIONAND to NANBIOIS supposes for the ICTS the possibility of amplifying its capacities and in particular to complete and expand its offer of cutting-edge biomedical solutions.

BIONAND, located in the Technological Park of Andalusia and directed by Professor José Becerra Ratia of the University of Málaga (UMA), is a mixed character center participated by the University of Malaga and by the Andalusian Government, conceived as a space for excellence research in nanomedicine that has scientific infrastructures with unique avant-garde equipment, among which, the Nano-Imaging Unit, incorporated to NANBIOSIS, stands out.

BIONAND’s Nanoimaging Unit brings together a wide range of cutting-edge technologies, including high-field magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, micro-CT, PET, SPECT, intra-vital optical imaging, electron microscopy, advanced optical microscopy, cell sorting and high content screening. The unit has been conceived and optimized to provide very diverse and integrated technological support for nanotechnology-based biomedical research, offering advance services to internal and external users.

The Nano-Imaging unit, headed by Dr. María Luisa García Martín, is a powerful last-generation of preclinical imaging facility that offers the possibility of acquiring micro and nano-scale images through a wide variety of techniques.

Dr. María Luisa García presented BIONAND as the new node of NANBIOSIS on November 12 in the session dedicated to NANBIOSIS that took place at the annual Scientific Conferences of CIBER-BBN.

In addition, last November 14, Dr José Becerra, represented NANBIOSIS in the General Assembly of Materplat, giving a talk about the “Customization of Implants and their biological function”. Further information

NANBIOSIS is working in the integration of the new node of BIONAND on the website and offer of NANBIOSIS

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